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— When community members decided 2008 would not be the last year for the Pea Ridge Mule Jump, they worked hard together to plan this year’s event. The planning committee included members from all areas of the town, and even some from outside. It’s obvious this tradition is not ready to end.

Nathan See is the chairman of the planning committee. He works with the City of Pea Ridge Street Department and has lived in Pea Ridge for 14 years. See said he believes the Mule Jump is the heritage of Pea Ridge, and it must keep going. He hopes the people of the community realize how important the Mule Jump is. See’s favorite event is the Pro Jump.

See said additional events have been included with a planned antique car and tractor show and inflatables for children.

Mayor Jackie Crabtree has lived in the Pea Ridge area all his life. The Mule Jump has been part of this community for a number of years, and he would like to see it continue. He the event will bring more people to the area for the town’s local businesses. Crabtree enjoys all events at the Mule Jump, but favors the Pro Jump.

Justin Bradford, business development officer at Community First Bank in Pea Ridge, lives in Fayetteville, Ark. Although not a resident of Pea Ridge, he believes the Mule Jump means a lot to everyone in the community, and wanted to be part of the legacy to help carry it on for years to come. He thinks the Mule Jump is a fun event for families, and enjoys the barrel races.

John Cody is the manager of the Garfield Water and Street departments. He has lived in Pea Ridge for over 18 years and is on the City Council. He said he feels the need to help out with planning the Mule Jump to continue a long-standing tradition. Cody thinks and hopes that tradition will bring the community together with pride. He also enjoys watching the Pro Jump.

Lea Isgrigg has lived in Pea Ridge for 12 years and is an activity leader for the Cannonball 4-H Club in Pea Ridge. It was important for her to see the Mule Jump continue, as Benton County has lost so many agriculture-type events and they are good family fun. She hopes the community is united by the event. She enjoys everything at the Mule Jump.

Billie Hickman, retired, has been a part of the Pea Ridge community for 50 years. Her interest in the community brought her to the Mule Jump committee and is proud to see the community working together. She enjoys seeing the children receiving awards at the event.

Jack Kelly, retired, has lived in Pea Ridge for 41 years. He is a Pea Ridge City Council member. The Mule Jump is a part of Pea Ridge, and when they needed help planning he volunteered. He thinks the event brings togetherness to the community and enjoys the hog calling every year.

Sue Elverston has lived in Pea Ridge for 13 years. This is her fifth year of planning the Mule Jump. She said five years ago she went to a meeting and has been with the event ever since. She enjoys seeing the participants from one year to the next. She thinks this event brings enjoyment to the community and raises money for the Parks Commission. Elverston enjoys all the Mule Jump events.

Other committee members include Sandy Lasater, Merrill White, Charles Crabtree, Harold Shockley, Don Shockley and Annette Beard. Special thanks also goes to the Pea Ridge Optimist Club and the Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Many local organizations are helping, according to See.

The Pea Ridge Booster Club is selling concessions in the school gym lobby, Cannonball 4H is picking up trash, Pea Ridge Women’s Business Association is collecting gate fees, the Pea Ridge Optimist Club is sponsoring a children’s fingerprinting booth, youth from First Baptist Church will assist with parking and assist with the inflatables, Doug McKinney is providing the verification of Coggins tests for mules, employees of the city’s Street Department will assist with setup and cleaning. Cassi Lapp and Annette Beard of The Times of Northeast Benton County worked with the committee for advertising and promotion.

News, Pages 16 on 10/07/2009

Print Headline: Community members forge new committee for 21st Mule Jump

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